Part two of Christmas takes place at Nana and Papa’s place. All the usual awesomeness of food and drink and family, more presents, and our collective first turducken. The highlight of the visit for me however – maybe the highlight of the whole holiday season – was Joe’s reaction to Pete the Cat.
When we visited Joe’s school for parent-teacher conferences last month, we asked Mr. McCoig (who needs his own blog post) what the kids are into these days. McCoig is a pretty low-key guy, and said they read Pete the Cat books a lot and the kids “seem to like them.” We gave our wonderful sister/sister-in-law Amy a heads-up, and she got some for Joe.
Christmas morning Joe pulls one out of his gift bag and loses his ish. Straight screaming like Shaun Cassidy was opening for One Direction with Ringo on drums. It was spectacular! Now we just show him a picture of Pete and he yells. It’s the first thing that’s driven him to this type of fandom. He’d hobble Pete if he met him.
Joe’s personality comes out more every day, but this Christmas it’s been in overdrive. We have a lot of great things to look forward to in 2015.
The Christmas season is coming to a close, and it’s been a great one. Joe got lots of terrific presents, but for us parents the best part has been watching his personality pop. This is the first year he seems to understand opening presents, and that the cool toys are for him. He’s more and more social, and will pick himself up and find where the action is in the house. In general, he’s just a hell of a guy.
We opened a bunch of presents at home before heading to North Carolina for part II. Thanks to my folks (the incredibly generous Grandma and Grandpa) for the neat stuff. Joe loves it all, but is split between the spinning top and the talking rabbit for his favorite. We parents hugely appreciate the unexpected surprise!
And thanks to Michele and Joseph in the Grand Canyon state! Joe has been wearing the sheriff badge and said to tell Arpaio to watch his back. This town’s not big enough …
Last night we went to the Illuminate Light Show just north of Richmond. Joe likes lights.
Joe and I like to hit up local parks on our off-time. Our go-to much of the time is the Petersburg National Battlefield, where we’re on our fourth year as annual pass holders. There are lots of great trails, and a really nice road with a dedicated walking/biking lane. We’ve run a lot of miles together there.
Over the past few weeks we’ve also gone to Rockwood Park in Chesterfield and Belle Island in Richmond. Belle Isle is extra cool because you access it by a foot bridge that is suspended under a major six-lane road bridge. Lots of history there, too – it was formerly home to a fishery, Civil War prison, nail factory and hydro-electric plant.
Belle Isle – this is how we selfie.
On a Rockwood trail.
Exploring a former industrial spot on Belle Isle.
Sucking up the December vitamin D.
A couple of weeks ago we went to a holiday craft fair at Tussing Elementary School, Joe’s place of business, then to Hopewell for a small festival. Joe took things up a notch by wearing a Viking helmet.
Then he pillaged our hearts.
Viking Joe don’t care.
Taking a break at the Hopewell library.
Our Techno Viking loves live music.
Tonight was Petersburg’s Christmas Illumination ceremony. They had drums, music, fireworks and nice people. The Red Cross served hot chocolate and a super cool lady was making Santa hats out of balloons. Joe ate it all up.
We met some of Joe’s old friends, and he made some new ones. One woman was there with her kids, who recognized Joe from school. She said her son had just recently pointed Joe out in his yearbook and said “That’s Joe. He’s very popular.”